The sovereignty of God is a great truth.  Some Christians seek to defend this truth at all costs.  The purpose of this post and subsequent posts is not to call into question the sovereignty of God; rather the purpose is to examine the proof texts used to show double predestination.  Do these scripture passages lead one to conclude double predestination?

The LORD has made everything for its purpose,

even the wicked for the day of trouble.

(Proverbs 16:4 ESV) 

This indeed looks at the outward appearance that God has made the wicked for the purpose of condemnation.  However, has he made the wicked to be wicked, or is it that he uses what the wicked desire to do?  Is this verse saying that he will not have mercy and grace toward these individuals?  As usual, placing the verse in the near context will give the answer.

The plans of the heart belong to man,

but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,

but the LORD weighs the spirit.

Commit your work to the LORD,

and your plans will be established.

The LORD has made everything for its purpose,

even the wicked for the day of trouble.

Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD;

be assured, he will not go unpunished.

By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,

and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.

Proverbs 16:1-6 ESV 

We have a great example in scripture about a wicked man on whom God had mercy. Saul of Tarsus thought he was doing God a solid by persecuting the believers in Jesus.  Jesus showed up to Saul and granted him true repentance and forgiveness of his sin. Saul was retooled for the purpose of being the Apostle to the Gentiles.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:29 ESV

Biblical references to predestination show it refers only to those in Jesus.  It is an offense to scripture to teach God predestined the unbeliever to hell.  This has offended Christians when the law has brought to mind his or her sins of the heart.  This teaching will call into question which group a believer belongs to. Does the believer belong to the predestined-to-hell-group based on a sin that is brought to mind, or does the believer belong to predestined-to-salvation group?  Rather those believers in Jesus should be pointed, once again, to the cross and resurrection.  It is there one finds peace for the troubled conscience and it is there we turn to in troubled times.

Trust this good news and live in its peace. In the name of Jesus. Amen. †

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